This is one title in a series of short, illustrated biographies. They tell the stories of those who have shaped our present and our past, from Beethoven to Dietrich, from Einstein to Churchill. George Orwell (1903-1949) wrote seminal reportage on the conditions of the poor - such as Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier - and was one of the first critics to write seriously about popular culture. During his last years he turned to allegory and fantasy to produce Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the two books that were to make him world famous. Politically provocative, after his death he became an icon both for the left and the right at the cost of obscuring the realities of his achievements.